12-metre ship aims to be first to cross Atlantic without a crew

TOLLESBURY, England (Reuters) - Final preparations are underway for a 12-metre-long ship to set sail from Canada and attempt the world's first transatlantic crossing without a crew.

Reuters May 22, 2019 00:05:52 IST
12-metre ship aims to be first to cross Atlantic without a crew

12metre ship aims to be first to cross Atlantic without a crew

TOLLESBURY, England (Reuters) - Final preparations are underway for a 12-metre-long ship to set sail from Canada and attempt the world's first transatlantic crossing without a crew.

The USV Maxlimer, an unmanned surface vessel, is bound for the south coast of England and will conduct deep sea surveys on the way, guided by a skipper in a control station in Britain.The voyage is expected to take about 35 days.

The ship was built by Sea-Kit International, which develops vessels for the maritime and research industries, for the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE, a competition to autonomously survey the sea bed.It can launch and recover autonomous underwater vehicles but has the potential to operate in different roles with different cargo."(It is) almost like a utility pick-up vehicle of the sea, it's robust, it's adaptable, it's got a huge range," said SEA-KIT International Managing Director Ben Simpson.

The vessel is operated by a hand-held remote control when in harbour and when at sea it can stream live data to the controller via multiple satellite links.

"What is now available through technology is very, very similar to what you have on the bridge of a ship and in many ways, I would argue, even more comprehensive," said James Fanshawe, a director of SEA-KIT."The controller here in this station can actually see all the way round on the horizon near real-time and in many ships it's quite difficult to actually even see what's behind you from the bridge of that ship," said Fanshawe.

The company said it sees a future for unmanned vessels as they can remove humans from harm's way.The team said ships that do not need to accommodate people also have significant economic and environmental benefits."You don't need a bridge, you don't need a galley, you don't need water supplies, you don't need air conditioning and suddenly the size of that vessel becomes a fraction of the size of vessels currently being used offshore," Simpson said.The combination of size and hybrid diesel-electric propulsion cuts fuel use by around 95 percent, the company said.

(Reporting by Stuart McDill; Writing by Alexandra Hudson)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.